Skip to comments.A rolled-away stone gathers Moss: from Judaism to Catholicism
Posted on 12/31/2005 7:39:53 PM PST by Coleus
A rolled-away stone gathers Moss: from Judaism to Catholicism
How does a Jewish person of faith convert to Catholicism? To judge by Rosalind Mosss eighteen-year journey into the Church, the answer is . . . very slowly. Raised in Brooklyn, in a conservative Jewish home with one older brother and one younger sister, Moss never even considered that she would ever be anything other than Jewish. Its what I was. We were Gods people. That was my identity, says Moss.
We waited for the Messiah to come, adds Moss, but He never did. As a teenager, her brother David became an atheist; Rosalind became agnostic. I figured that there was a God, but how could you know? I longed for meaning and purpose and to know why mankind was on the earth, but didnt think that you could find God, or that merely knowing He existed could make a difference.
When I was thirty-two years old, I heard about Christ for the first time, recalls Moss. David brought me an article that said there were Jewish people who believed that Christ was the Messiah. I asked my brother, You mean to tell me that the Messiah was already here? That He was the only hope the world ever had, and yet the Jewish people didnt know this? That He came and left and there has been no impact, no change, no peace? Thats just insanity.
Not long after, Moss moved to California and met some of what she considered neurotic Jews who did in fact believe this. They led me to the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world, Moss said. They showed me the Old Testament and pointed to John 1:29, which drove a knife through my heart. There I sat, shattered to think that this was true . . . that God, whose name we had written as G d, had entered history and become a man to bring us home. It was an unbelievable thing.
Moss immediately jumped into a nearby evangelical Protestant church and enrolled in every Bible study and outreach she could find. Her first Bible study was taught by an ex-Catholic who had been taught by a former priest. So, right off, I knew that Catholicism was a cult and a false religious system. I spent the next eighteen years trying to save others from what I thought was the work of Satan, recalls Moss.
My brothers search for truth led him first to a Baptist church. But it made no sense to him that God would have left us in so much confusion as thousands of denominations, and so he went seeking the Church God had intended. Two years later, David became a Catholic.
In the summer of 1990, after having been a Catholic for eleven years, he gave me a copy of This Rock magazine. Inside was an advertisement for a four-tape series by a Presbyterian minister who had become Catholic Scott Hahn. I had never heard of such a thing, and so I ordered the tapes.
Just a week away from serving in a ministerial position at the Evangelical Church in Orange, California, Moss listened to the Hahn tapes. I remember Scotts words well. He said that for anyone who would look into the claims of Catholicism would come a holy shock and a glorious amazement.
Here I knew that the Church was the work of Satan, and yet listening to that tape a holy shock went through me. I knew, before God, that I had to look into the claims of the Catholic Church or I would be turning from God. Thus began my four-year agonizing journey toward the Church.
The journey, Moss admits, was a difficult one. Right from the start, she decided to put the issue of Mary on a shelf and deal with her later, if she ever got that far. Instead, she first dealt with the sacramental nature of the Church.
I had one hundred percent bought into the Calvinist thinking of total depravity. I believed that creation was absolutely corrupt, and that therefore God would not use things to bring about grace. It just didnt make sense to me why God would use fallen creation.
Yet in Scripture Christ uses mud and spit to heal the blind man. I wondered why He did that. He certainly didnt have to. This led me to wonder why He changed the water into wine, when He could have just gone poof and made the change.
Furthermore, I questioned the Incar-nation. Why would God have taken on flesh? I came to understand that creation is fallen, but not totally depraved, and that God can and does take creation and us and restore us to the dignity that He intended.
Another issue Moss had a hard time understanding was the Eucharist. I could not understand how, if we already had Christ, we could get Him. Did we get Him on Sunday and then lose Him during the week?
One of Ross spiritual directors, Monsignor James OConnor, helped answer her question. He told me that in a marriage relationship the husband and wife love each other and have each other all the time. Yet sometimes they are not very aware of that love. However, in the intimacy of the marital union it is the beloved giving to his loved, just as Christ, the Bridegroom, gives to His Church, the Bride, in the Eucharist, a total act of self-giving love that is unique to that time.
For me, that was extraordinarily beautiful. Monsignor OConnors explanation of the Eucharist and the nature of the Mass as the once-for-all sacrifice of Calvary helped me into the Church.
Moss final hurdle was understanding the sufficiency of the sacrifice of Christ. I could not understand how we could offer our lives with Christ, she recalls. It seemed as if we were saying that Christs sacrifice wasnt sufficient.
What enabled that truth to get through to me was thinking of a mother who is in the kitchen baking a chocolate cake. She has all that she needs. She needs nothing.
Then her daughter comes into the kitchen and asks, Mommy, can I help you? and so the mother lets the daughter help. The mother doesnt need her addition, but it is still a true addition.
My sins put Christ to death on the cross. However, now that Ive come to love Him, if I could go back and be at the foot of the cross, even though I once cried Crucify him! wouldnt I now crawl up on the cross and give myself with Him? Wouldnt I want to do that?
Calvary, through two thousand years, is brought to us. We are at the foot of the cross and we can give ourselves with Him, in Him and through Him. That is the Mass.
In the end, having dealt with every Marian doctrine and coming to understand the communion of saints, Moss started praying through Mary. Five weeks later, at the Easter vigil, 1995, she took Marys Jewish name, Miriam, as her confirmation name and entered the Church. Life has never been the same.
Evangelical friends ask me what I have now that I was missing as an Evangelical. I tell them that I have not more than Christ, but I have the whole Christ. I have all that God has given us in giving us His Church.
Of her conversion, Moss states, I looked at every Protestant work I could find against Catholicism. In the end, looking into two thousand years of Church history, I learned that the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheens comment was truly the case: Theres not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they mistakenly think the Catholic Church teaches.
My heart was taken halfway to heaven. I never believed that there could be such a design.
Moss admits that her conversion has given her a far better understanding of what it means to be Jewish. The most Jewish thing a person can do is to become Catholic. When I was trying to save my brother from becoming Catholic, I went to Christmas Mass with him. Afterwards, I told him, Thats a synagogue, but with Christ!
She draws comparisons between the Passover and the Lords Supper. Passover was celebrated to point to Israels temporal deliverance from bondage to Egypt. The final Passover, the Last Supper, points to our eternal deliverance from bondage to sin. Both events required the participants to eat of the lamb.
Moss now spends the majority of her time on the road, speaking to parishes, conventions and conferences as a staff apologist with San Diego-based Catholic Answers. In addition, she writes for This Rock and Be magazine, is a frequent guest on Catholic Answers live radio program, and co-hosted a sixteen-part EWTN series with convert Kristine Franklin, titled Household of Faith. Moss was awarded a 1999 Envoy Award for Best New Evangelist.
Shes not alone in her ministry efforts. Her brother David now leads the Association of Hebrew Catholics, a community that helps Catholics of Jewish origin to realize that they need not abandon their heritage in becoming Catholic.
My wish, from the moment I gave my life to Christ twenty-three years ago, was to find a megaphone and a ladder tall enough to get to the moon so that I could tell the world that there is a Savior. Now I want to spend the rest of my life telling Catholics what they have.
Contact Rosalind Moss at
Catholic Answers, Inc.,
2020 Gillespie Way
El Cajon, CA 92020;
Wow .. that's so powerful .. thanks for posting.
As we enter a new year, there are several Freepers attending RCIA. Like all journeys, RCIA has a beginning, a path and a destination. It is a sojourn through four periods of awakening, growth and formation marked by celebration of three major rites involving the faith community. The periods are: Inquiry, Catechumenate, Purification & Enlightenment, and Mystagogia EXPLAINED HERE.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a community-based faith journey where the entire community nurtures all who seek to know the "Way of Christ (The Way of the Cross)" as pilgrims. This walk is not done alone. The community accompanies each "seeker"; supports them by prayer while offering examples and instruction about our God, our Faith and our Mission. The journey is a time of "letting go" and "building up" through scripture, prayer and dialogue. RCIA is time spent discerning through prayer and dialogue whether the "walk of faith" each seeker takes leads them to join the Roman Catholic Church.
As fellow freepers, these members of the Tiber Swim Team are preparing for reception into the Catholic Church and need our support. Please remember them in your prayers.
And may our Lord and Savior, accompany them on this journey! To Him be glory forever.
. . . gotta have the team shirt . . .
Raised by Holocaust escapees as a devout and conservative Jew, the last thing Roy Schoeman had on his mind in Summer 1987, was conversion to christianity. As he describes it ....
"I was walking in the early morning, in the woods just back from the beach, when God intervened, dramatically and distinctly, into my life to pull me back and put me onto the right path. As I was walking, lost in my thoughts, I found myself in the immediate presence of God. It is as though I "fell into Heaven." Everything changed from one moment to the next, but in such a smooth and subtle way that I was not aware of any discontinuity. I felt myself in the immediate presence of God. I was aware of His infinite exaltedness, and of His infinite and personal love for me. I saw my life as though I was looking back on it after death, in His presence, and could see everything which I would be happy about and everything which I would wish I had done differently. I saw that every action I had ever done mattered, for good or for evil. I saw that everything which had ever happened in my life had been perfectly designed for my own good from the infinitely wise and loving hand of God, not only including but especially those things which I at the time I thought had been the greatest catastrophes. I saw that my two greatest regrets when I died would be every moment which I had wasted not doing anything of value in the eyes of God, and all of the time and energy which I had wasted worrying about not being loved when every moment of my existence I was bathed in an infinite sea of love, although unaware of it. I saw that the meaning and purpose of my life was to worship and serve my Lord and Master, in whose presence I found myself. I wanted to know His name, so that I could worship Him properly, so that I could follow "His" religion. I remember silently praying "Tell me your name. I don't mind if You're Apollo, and I have to become a Roman pagan. I don't mind if You're Krishna, and I have to become a Hindu. I don't mind if You're Buddha, and I have to become a Buddhist. As long as You're not Christ, and I have to become a Christian!" (Jewish readers might be able to identify with this deep-rooted aversion to Christianity, based on the mistaken belief that it was the "enemy" which lay behind two thousand years of persecution of the Jews.)"
You can read this amazing story here .
Link to Roy Schoeman's web site:
Thank you for a lovely story to start the new year
I remember silently praying "Tell me your name. I don't mind if You're Apollo, and I have to become a Roman pagan. I don't mind if You're Krishna, and I have to become a Hindu. I don't mind if You're Buddha, and I have to become a Buddhist. As long as You're not Christ, and I have to become a Christian!"
Funny thing about the Lord, He has an amazing sense of humor.
So this Moss guy becomes a Christian, spends 18 years as a Protestant, crosses the Tiber and Catholics spin it as though he suddenly found the "true" Israel? Some things never change. No matter how ya try to slice and dice it, a former Jew turned Hebrew flavored Catholic is still a trinitarian. This book is more shameless suppercessionist drivel.
Now that is a Tshirt I could wear proudly, having swum the Tiber myself...
It must be a Happy New Year!
14 posts and no Catholic bashing!
Guess I should have read #11 instead of scanning.
What a great t-shirt. Is there one for life guards too?
I admire someone who can invent "suppercessionist" this early in the day. I have this picture of half the family getting up from the supper table and going to eat in the spare room. Are they boycotting the Casserole With the Beans Again? Or is it a deeper issue ... something to do with the Civil War or Social Security reform?
Something to ponder while one's headache dissipates ...
The Episcopalians drove me to Judaism.
The Episcopalians drove me to Judaism.
You are true to your moniker.
Moss is a woman, if you'd bother to read the post. Which, of course, places great doubt on your "book review" of the merits of "Salvation is from the Jews". It's too bad you start the year off in such fashion.
Dear Invincibly Ignorant,
I've never really cared for suppercessionist drivel, myself. I prefer dinnercessionist drivel, personally.
And by DINNERcessionist, I mean that which is served somewhere around 6 pm, not at noon. I once had a teacher who tried to serve dinnercessionist drivel at noon, but she was from west of the Mississippi, so I forgave her.